Everybody Bullshits Sometimes: Relationships of Bullshitting Frequency, Overconfidence and Myside Bias in the Topic of Migration
Keywords:bullshitting frequency, overconfidence, myside bias, persuasive bullshitting, evasive bullshitting
Current research on bullshit has shifted its focus from the recipient of bullshit to the producer of bullshit; this trend being reflected in the new Bullshitting frequency scale (Littrell et al., 2020) measuring persuasive and evasive bullshitting. The aim of our study was to validate the scale on the Slovak population and to examine the relationship between persuasive and evasive bullshitting behavior, overconfidence and myside bias in the context of the topic of migration. Six hundred and sixty-six Slovak adults (52.7% men, Mage = 41.84) participated in an online study. The two-factor structure of BFS was confirmed. The results showed that people high in persuasive bullshitting (“persuasive bullshitters”), after controlling for evasive bullshitting, felt they had more knowledge about migration, but they also showed more myside bias. Similarly, people high in evasive bullshitting (“evasive bullshitters”), after controlling for persuasive bullshitting, felt they had less knowledge about migration and tended to underestimate their knowledge. Contrary to our expectations, correlation between overconfidence and persuasive bullshitting disappeared when evasive bullshitting was controlled for, and it seems that negative the correlation was caused by evasive bullshitters being underconfident. Our results further expand the knowledge about cognitive characteristics of bullshitters and support the distinction between the two kinds of bullshitting behavior, which has implications for political debates as well.